Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Cooking - Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook

What is better than a cozy mystery?  A cozy mystery that features yummy recipes!!  And one of my favorite cozy mystery series that falls into this category is Joanne Fluke's "Hannah Swensen" mysteries!

These mysteries feature baker extraordinare Hannah Swensen, owner of "The Cookie Jar" bakery in tiny Lake Eden, Minnesota. Besides being known for her creative and delicious baking skills, she is also a whiz at solving a mystery or two!  With help from her family, friends, and her two (yes, two!) love interests, Hannah ususally manages to catch the criminals and keep the town's sweet tooth satisifed as well!

For years, fans of the "Hannah" series have asked author Joanne Fluke to gather all the wonderful recipes into a cookbook, and she has done just that in her latest book, "Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook." But this isn't just a cookbook!  Along with the yummy recipes, Joanne also treats her readers to a short story about Hannah's mother's annual Christmas cookie exchange party where Hannah's family and friends gather to remember past adventures and enjoy the delicious treats that have been handed down among the group over the years.

In addition to the compliation of recipes that have been featured in the first ten books of Joanne's series, there are also brand new recipes that have never been published before! 

One of the cutest recipes is for Norwegian Chocolate Pizza, and can also be found on Joanne's website at http://www.murdershebaked.com/

This is a new recipe from "Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook". It comes from a reader, Elizabeth Nole, and it's both easy and yummy. (Elizabeth says to be careful because it's addicting!)

Norwegian Chocolate Pizza

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

Hannah's 1st Note: Ellie always brings these to Mother's cookie exchange in pizza boxes from her restaurant, Bertanelli’s Pizza.


4 cups quick oatmeal (I used Quaker Quick-1Minute)
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 1/2 pound) salted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
6-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips (that's one cup of chips)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter*
shredded coconut
red candied cherries, chopped**
chopped nuts of your choice

* - Some people have peanut allergies. If you plan to serve this to someone who does, substitute almond butter for the peanut butter. You could also substitute Nutella (a hazelnut chocolate butter) if you can find it in your area.

** - If you can't find red candied cherries, you can use well-drained maraschino cherries.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the oatmeal, softened butter, and brown sugar together.

Round the mixture up in a large ball with your impeccably clean hands and place it in the center of the parchment lined cookie sheet.

Pat the mixture into a circle about the size of a small pizza. Push the outside edges up a bit so that they form what looks like a crust.

Bake the "pizza" at 350 degrees F. for approximately 15 minutes, or until it turns brown and bubbles a bit.

Take your "pizza" out of the oven and let it cool slightly while you make your toppings.

If you have a double boiler, use it to make the topping. If you don't, use a heavy saucepan and stir it to keep the contents from scorching.

Combine the chocolate chips and the peanut butter over LOW heat. Stir it until everything melts and blends together.

Remove the topping from the heat and pour it over your "pizza" crust.

Decorate the top of your pizza with the coconut to simulate shredded cheese, the chopped cherries to simulate chopped tomatoes, and the chopped nuts to simulate sausage pieces.

Hannah's 2nd Note: Be creative with your "pizza" toppings. See if you can find something to simulate pepperoni, or green pepper, or any other real pizza topping you can think of.

Remember, the toppings don't go in the oven so you can use any sweet treat you can find at the grocery store.

Refrigerate your pizza until it has hardened. To serve, you can either cut it in slices with a pizza cutter just like a real pizza, or break it into pieces like toffee or peanut brittle.

Yield: One small-size pizza that everyone will love.

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme sponsored by Beth Fish Reads http://www.bethfishreads.com/.   Check out the other yummy recipes that fellow bloggers have posted!


Annie @ButteryBooks said...

Oh my goodness! That Norwegian Chocolate pizza has my mouth watering! Just added the ingredients to my grocery list! Have a party tonite and I'm bringing this!
Have a great weekend!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Love the chocolate pizza idea! How fun! Every time i see your cozy mystery reviews I want to read one!

Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

Then dive in Sheila! The water's fine!!!

Annie - glad I could help out!

Kaye said...

oooh, this sounds wonderful and looks it too! Thanks for sharing.

TheBookGirl said...

I've read alot of culinary mysteries, but for some reason I have never picked up this series, even though I've known about it for a while.
I am a stickler about starting with the first book when I can so I need to go back and find her first one from the library.

That pizza looks yummy!

Little Nell said...

This is not like any pizza I’ve ever known. It looks really yummy!

kalea_kane said...

This looks absolutely yummy. I love cozy mysteries. Add in recipes, and I am in! Thanks for sharing. :)

Uniflame said...

This looks lovely and it is so original!

Beth F said...

Ha!!!! You beat me to this. I just got this cookbook too. I love this kind of cookbook

Christine said...

Ooo! Pizza! I think I'll make this for dinner tonight. ; )